Archive for July 2012

Mango Chelada

Here's a refreshing twist on the Michelada/Chelada beer cocktail. As you may know, the Chelada is a popular drink in Mexico, consisting of lime, salt and beer. The Michelada, even more popular, adds in tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Maggi*, Soy... sometimes clam juice or oranges. Every region in Mexico has its own version. When we traveled to Playa del Carmen last year, the Michelada there had only lime, salt and "pepper sauce".

Here's one variation using mango that adds a little sweetness and nutrition.

Mango Chelada
1-3 oz of Mango puree (strained)
1 oz lime juice (juice of one full lime)
12 oz Mexican light beer
2-3 dashes salsa picante (Mexican hot sauce)
2-3 dashes soy sauce
2-3 dashes Worcestershire

Build the chelada as you would a bloody mary - add the mango, lime, sauces, ice, beer and then stir or roll into a salt-rimmed pint or pilsner glass.

*Maggi, popular in Europe and Mexico is a sauce made from concentrated vegetables. It's in the bouillon family and can be subbed for soy sauce.

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Watermelon White Pepper Campari

We'll cut right to the chase for this post because we've got three refreshing drinks to share. The combo of watermelon, white pepper and Campari is the brain child of our friend Erik, so we got together to see what cocktails we could make. It turns out that you can use a plethora of spirits - rum, tequila, gin, vodka - with watermelon and pepper and you'll get something tasty. Just pay attention to the sweetness of the melon.

Erik froze some watermelon squares for our drinks - a nice touch that keeps your drink cold without diluting. It does thaw pretty quick though.

We pureed the melon (seeds and all) then strained out the pulp. If you don't have a juicer, this is a great alternative.

We tried two different methods for incorporating the the white pepper. Here we made a simple syrup by using 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup sugar (we use turbinado, hence the dark color of the syrup), and 1-2 tablespoons of crushed white peppercorns. Then we simmered the syrup until about a 1/2 cup of water dissolved. Finally we let it cool and strained out the pepper.

The second method was cubing the watermelon, peppering the cubes and then letting them sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. With a little torn basil and feta, this also makes a wonderful salad.

Watermelon Smash
1 oz Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz White Pepper Simple Syrup
1/4 quarter lime cut into two pieces
4 1-inch cubes of watermelon
2-3 torn basil leaves

In a pint glass muddle the simple syrup with the watermelon, lime and basil leaves. Fill glass with ice, add gin and Campari and roll (pour back and forth) into a collins glass. Top with soda or mineral water and garnish with a small basil leaf.

Campari and Soda with a twist
1 oz Campari
1/2 White Pepper Simple Syrup
1/2 Lime Juice

Add ingredients to an ice-filled collins glass. Top with 4 oz soda water and stir.

Melon Margarita
1 1/2 of Tequila (use blanco for more pepper flavor)
2 oz Watermelon Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz White Pepper Simple Syrup

Shake all on ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with salt and lime.

Notes: all of the above drinks are great for day drinking for their relatively low alcohol content. The maragarita, for instance subs watermelon juice for cointreau and soda water is used for the Campari and Soda and the Smash.

Let us know if you try the cocktails.

P.S.  The simple syrup turnout out delicious... not too spicy, just some nice heat on the finish. Try it in lemonade - you will not be disappointed.

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Happy 4th: Stay Cool!

Bruce and John Mellencamp want to wish you a great and safe 4th of July! Gifs courtesy of VH1.

Here's a refreshing, day drinking cocktail for this scorching Independence Day. It's also a nice use of your good vermouth - which only lasts 2-3weeks in the refrigerator after opening (it's just like wine in that way except it lasts a little longer because it's fortified).

Mother of Pearl (I've been listening to Roxy Music)
2-3oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
4-8oz Mineral or Soda Water

Add both to an ice-filled glass. Garnish with mint and frozen grapes (I used the sweet Muscat grape).

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